"[The mayor] has always been very, very, concerned about the need to expand the landfill," Van Amburgh said. "He doesn't want to be in the trash business."
Jennings said at a Dec. 3 hearing that the landfill generally takes in close to $11 million each year, and that revenue will go toward other waste management solutions. The landfill also generates natural gas for electricity.
Grace Nichols, an Albany resident, said the landfill poses a danger, due to air and water pollution. She also said that Clough-Harbor, the engineering firm hired by the City of Albany, misled DEC officials about levels of harmful pesticides used at the landfill.
Frank Lavardera, vice president of Clough-Harbor, said the landfill does not use pesticides at the site, but does have contracts to combat rodents and insects in administrative offices and several other buildings.
Lavardera said Clough-Harbor told the DEC that, to its knowledge, the chemicals were not used as part of the landfill portion of the operation.
Several members of the environmental advocacy group Save the Pine Bush asked that the landfill not expand into federally protected lands.
"We should stop destroying this beautiful land. Enough is enough," said Sandy Scudder, of Save the Pine Bush. "I'm begging the DEC to stop this."
Carm Privatera, a resident at the Avila retirement home and former biology professor at the University at Buffalo, said he was concerned with the "nano," or extremely small, particles from the landfill, and those particles' effects on health.
"It doesn't have to stink to be hazardous," Privatera said. He said he does not want those particles anywhere near him or his body, citing his "spleen, his liver or his left testicle," as important organs.
Steve Garry, a business owner with property near the landfill, complained that expanding the landfill will drive down property prices for homes in the area.